Health Highlights: June 9, 201106/09/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
U.S. Flu Vaccination Rates Remain High
Flu vaccination rates remained high in the United States this
past winter even though there was no swine flu, according to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Flu vaccination coverage was nearly 43 percent, according to
interim results from an analysis of data collected between August
2010 and February 2011 from people 6 months and older in 43 states
and the District of Columbia.
The findings suggest that record high seasonal flu vaccination
coverage in the U.S. in 2009-10 (when there was a swine flu
pandemic) continued during the past season, according to the report
in the latest issue of
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the CDC.
Among the other findings:
- Vaccination coverage among children increased from 42.3 percent
in 2009-10 to 49 percent in 2010-11, and improved rates of
vaccination among black and Hispanic children in the 2010-11 flu
season eliminated racial/ethnic disparities in child flu
- There were wide variations in flu vaccination coverage between
states, particularly among children. In some states, flu
vaccination rates for children were above 60 percent.
- Flu vaccination rates among adults in 2010-11 were similar to
2009-10 levels, and racial/ethnic disparities in flu vaccination
rates persisted among adults.
More Illnesses, Another Death in E. Coli Outbreak
Another person in Germany has died in the E. coli outbreak and
160 more have been reported ill, the country's national disease
control center said Thursday.
So far, 2,808 people have been reported sickened in Germany,
including 722 with a serious complication that can cause kidney
failure, according to the Robert Koch Institute, the
Associated Press reported.
There have been 97 people reported sick in 12 other European
countries, as well as three in the United States, the World Health
Deaths from the E. coli outbreak total 27 -- 26 in Germany and
one in Sweden.
The source of the outbreak has not been identified, the
Boost Efforts to Eliminate HIV/AIDS: Obama
Countries around the world need to do more to eliminate
HIV/AIDS, U.S. President Barack Obama said Wednesday in a statement
marking the 30th anniversary of the fight against the disease.
An aggressive global response has reduced the number of
infections and deaths but tens of millions of people still live
with the disease and about two million die every year, Obama noted,
USA Today reported.
He said the United States is a global leader in the fight
against AIDS and will continue to do its part, but added that more
nations need to do their part.
"Together, we can resolve to meet our shared responsibilities. Together, we can come closer to our vision of a world without HIV/AIDS," Obama said.
Many Sexual Assaults Within VA System Unreported
Many sexual assaults that occur within the Veterans Affairs
system aren't being reported to high level officials, says a
Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit released this
Investigators found that VA leadership officials and the VA
Inspector General's Office were not informed about 284 of the 300
sexual assault incidents reported to VA police between January 2007
and July 2010,
The sexual assault incidents included rape, forced or
inappropriate oral sex, inappropriate touching, and forceful
medical examinations. Both men and women were the victims of these
sexual assaults. Attackers and victims included VA employees,
patients and people with no connection to the VA.
Of the 67 rape allegations, nearly two-thirds were not reported
to the VA Inspector General's Office, as required by VA regulation,
A hearing on the issue has been scheduled for Monday by the
House Committee on Veterans Affairs.
Sharp Rise in Workers' Share of Health Insurance Premiums
The share of health insurance premiums paid by workers at
private-sector companies rose sharply between 2001 and 2009, says a
U.S. government report.
The average annual premium share for workers with employee
plus-one-coverage increased 121 percent, from $1,070 to $2,363. The
average annual contribution for workers with family coverage rose
nearly 100 percent, from $1,741 to $3,474, while there was a 92
percent increase for employees with single coverage, from $498 to
During that same time, the total average premium for
employer-sponsored health plans rose more slowly, according to the
News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and
Premiums increased from $5,463 to $9,053 (66 percent) for an
employee-plus-one plan, from $7,509 to $13,027 (73.5 percent) for a
family plan, and from $2,889 to $4,669 (62 percent) for a single
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